The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Carnage in the Senate

It's been a rough couple of days for House bills in the Senate.

From most to least relevant.

1) The Senate Finance committee took the Transportation bill House and substituted the text of the Senate bill. The House will do the same, so the House bill number will contain the Senate text, and the Senate bill number will contain the House text. Then it gets sent to commitee, where who knows what happens.

2) The Senate Finance committee also killed the House's plan to fully phase out the car tax. It apparently died for lack of a motion, so no Senator has to go on the record as opposing it. At the same time, every House member gets to say that they tried and the Senate just wouldn't go along. We'll see if that flies in November, especially for Joe May, Vince Callahan, and Riley Ingram.

3) Senate Privileges and Elections referred Bill Carrico's Religion Amendment over to Senate Courts of Justice. It will almost assuredly die there. I didn't think this bill did much harm or much good. The Federal Constitution controls in 1st amendment issues. When's the last time you ever heard of someone bringing a Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom claim (on either side)?

4) Dick Black's gay adoption bill was killed. I thought that this was workable, but the Senate members thought that there were enforcement difficulties and that it was "bigoted." It also didn't help that one of Black's witnesses had been expelled from the American Psychological Association. Even if it was for "political differences," it doesn't really start thing off on the right foot.


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